Murex trapa   Roeding,  1798 (Sea Snail)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Gastropoda

Image copyrights: FAO

Size: Length 28.60-92.85 mm; diameter 14.16-49.32 mm; length of aperture 8.09-21.25 mm; length of spire 9.32-27.0 mm; length of the canal 13.45-47.52 mm.

Color: Light brown, aperture and interior margin white, deep brown in middle.

Shell club shaped, protoconch of 2½ whorls, smooth, mildly depressed, base with prominent spiral ridges at its base which continues as shoulder ridge on teleoconch, suture deep, spire elevated, acute, consisting of seven post nuclear whorls. Whorls angular, body whorl large, rounded; suture deep; aperture large, lenticular, anal sulcus broad and deep, outer lip erect and crenulate throughout except between anal sulcus and shoulder spine, last few fused to form into a broad prominent labial tooth on the anterior part, inner lip adherent posteriorly, formed into callus, detached, weakly erect anteriorly. Siphonal canal elongated, straight, narrowly open; body whorl bears three varices, rounded and spinose; axial sculpture with four to five intervarically low costae. Spiral sculpture with primary, secondary and tertiary cords. Three primaries on body bounded by tertiaries, one on shoulder, one on middle and the other on lower part, three secondary cords each above shoulder margin and between first and second primaries; two secondary cords between second and third primary cords and each followed by a tertiary one. Basal primary cord followed by one secondary and three tertiary cords. The canal with a secondary cord followed by three tertiary cords and this repeated thrice on canal, the primaries and two secondaries on lower part of body give rise to moderate to short spine, closed ventrally, curved upwards on body and straight on canal.

Synonym (s)
Murex martinianus Reeve, 1845
(Junior Synonym)
Murex tribulus var. trapa Gravely, 1942
Murex trapa Roeding, 1798
Murex trapa Radwin & D'Attilio, 1976
Murex unindentatus Sowerby, 1834
Murex rarispina Lamarck, 1822
(Junior Synonym)
Murex trapa Satyamurti, 1952
Murex trapa Cernohorsky, 1967
Murex trapa Ponder and Vokes, 1988
Murex unidentatus Sowerby, 1834
(Junior Synonym)

Common Name (s)
• Rare Spined Murex (English)
Economic Importance and Threats
Importance:  Commercial
(Used as food.)

Habitat:  Demersal, Sandy


• Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Andaman (Lat: 10) (Long: 93) INDIA
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Andaman Islands (Lat: 10) (Long: 93) INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Devipatnam INDIA
• Gujarat, Gulf of Kachchh (Lat: 22.6) (Long: 69.5) INDIA
• Orissa, Mahanadi Estuary (Lat: 20.32) (Long: 86.75) INDIA
• Orissa, Chandipur INDIA
• Orissa, Off Paradwip INDIA (Record: 31/01/1972)
• Orissa, Puri INDIA (Record: 19/02/1948)
• Tamil Nadu, Chennai INDIA
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Andamans INDIA
• West Bengal, Sandheads INDIA
• West Bengal, Digha Coast INDIA
• Andhra Pradesh, Kakinada INDIA
• Andhra Pradesh, Jammulapalem INDIA
• Andhra Pradesh, Uppada INDIA
• Andhra Pradesh, Manginapudi INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Krusadai Island INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Tuticorin INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Vellar Estuary INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Gulf of Mannar INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Mandapam INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Kovalam INDIA
• Kerala, Neendakara INDIA
• Kerala, Kochi, Sakthikulangara INDIA

Literature Source(s)
  • Subba Rao, NV (2003) Indian seashells Records of the Zoological Survey of India ZSI, Kolkata (Part 1) 416 pp Available at - NCL, Pune
  • Tikadar, BK; Daniel, A and Subbarao, NV (1986) Sea shore animals of Andaman and Nicobar Islands The Director, ZSI, Kolkatta 188 Available at - ZSI, Pune
  • Subba Rao, NV and Dey, A (2000) Catalogue of marine molluscs of Andaman and Nicobar Islands Occasional paper no 187 Records of the Zoological Survey of India ZSI 1-323 Available at - NCL, Pune
  • Subba Rao, NV and Surya Rao, KV (1993) Contribution to the knowledge of Indian marine molluscs: Pt. 3. Family: Muricidae Occasional paper no 153 Records of the Zoological Survey of India ZSI, Kolkata 133 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Venkatraman, K; Srinivasan, M; Satyanarayana, CH and Prabhakar D (2002) Faunal diversity of Gulf of Mannar biosphere reserve Conservation area series 15 ZSI 77 pp; VIII pla Available at - NCL, Pune
  • (2001) Fauna of Godavari estuary, Andhra Pradesh Estuarine ecosystem series 4 ZSI, Kolkata 1-166 Available at - ZSI, Pune
  • Zoological Survey of India (Eds.) (1998) Fauna Of Mahanadi estuary, Orissa Estuarine ecosystem series no 3 ZSI, Kolkata 1-218 Available at - ZSI, Pune
  • Nagabhushanam, AK and Krishnan, S (1993) Observations on the distribution of some of the marine organism inhabiting the inter-tidal zone along the western continental shelf of the Bay of Bengal, with particular reference to the Tamil Nadu coastal strip Records of the Zoological Survey of India 93(3-4) 449-490 Available at - ZSI, Pune
  • Subba Rao, NV and Sastry, DRK (2005) Fauna of Marine National Park, Gulf of Kuchchh (Gujarat) ZSI 79 pp Available at - NCL, Pune
  • Fernando, AS and Fernando, OJ (2002) A field guide to the common invertebrates of the east coast of India Centre of Advanced Study in Marine Biology 1-258 Available at - NIO, RC Kochi
  • Rao, NVS; Rao, KVS and Maitra, S (1991) Marine molluscs State fauna series 1: Fauna of Orissa Zoological Survey of India, Calcutta Part 3 1-175 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Society for the Management of European Biodiversity Data (2009) World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) Available at -
  • Bouillon, S; Raman, AV; Dauby, P and Dehairs, F (2002) Carbon and Nitrogen stable isotope ratios of subtidal benthic invertebrates in an estuarine mangrove ecosystem (Andhra Pradesh, India) Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science. Elsevier 54 901–913 Available at -
  • Ramesh, S; Samipillai, SS and Elangomathavan, R (2009) Environmental sciences habitat diversity of hermit crab Clibanarius longitarsus (de haan) in Vellar estuary, south east coast of India Recent Research in Science and Technology 1(4) 161–168 Available at -
  • Appukuttan, KK and Joseph, S (2005) Conservation and Management of reef ecosystem associated molluscs for sustainable utilization Proceedings of the National Seminar on Reef Ecosystem Remediation SDMRI Special Research Publication No.9 59-68 Available at -
  • Sundaram, KS; Sarvesan, R; Mohamed, KH and Shanbhogue, SL (1969) Catalogue of molluscs, prawns, stomatopods and marine algae in the reference collections of the central marine fisheries research institute Bulletin Of Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute CMFRI, Cochin 9 1-52 Available at -
  • Radhakrisnan, EV; Kathirvel, M; Devarajan, K; Vijayakumaran, M; Poovannan, P; Thangavelu, R; Hameed, KS; Sankaralingam, S; Ramakrishnan, A and Thangar, VS (1989) An unusual congregation of organisms in the catches off Kovalam, Madras Marine fisheries information service ICAR 99 16-18 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Philip, MB and Appukuttan, KK (1995) A checklist of gastropods landed at Sakthikulangara-Neendakara area CMFRI 138 9-10 Available at - NIO, Goa

Page last updated on:2011-07-19

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